Grand Sheikh meets US Muslim communities’ representative

Ahmed el-Tayyeb, the grand sheikh of Al-Azhar, met yesterday with Farah Pandith, special representative to Muslim Communities for the US State Department.

During the meeting, el-Tayyeb affirmed his belief that cultural differences should not be a source of conflict but rather a basis to achieve world peace.

“Civilizations have cooperated over the ages,” said el-Tayyeb. “Ever since western civilization progressed and came out with new scientific and imperialist theories, things have become different.”

For her part, Pandith said, “Al-Azhar represents a great Islamic reference point across the world.” She also expressed hope that the grand sheikh would soon visit young people in the US and the West.

Pandith held a press conference at the US embassy the day before yesterday, during which she said that she doesn’t work with governments but, “with representatives of civil society and individuals through US embassies to achieve Obama’s strategy of improving relations with Muslim world.”

“My mission is to focus on youth in the Muslim world, especially those under the age of 30,” Pandith added.

Asked whether she would meet representatives from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, she responded: “I explained my job very well. I deal with youth, listen to their opinions and get to know the way they think. As for the Muslim Brotherhood, my stance is no different from that of the US state Department.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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